Team 696 takes over Fresno


Team 696 working hard.

696, Clark Magnet’s robotics team, traveled to Fresno to take part in the 7th Central Valley Regional FIRST Robotics Competition held April 5–8. People from all around the world Brazil, Mexico, Israel, and many other places competed to win 1st place to move on to the World Championships. Though expectations were high for Team 696 this would be the last competitions for the school year —- the team lost their chance to make it into the national championships.

“Going into the competition, I expected to get first place,” said junior Marcus Braga, who has been on the team for two years. “When I saw the other teams, however, I was a little intimidated. But, I didn’t let the intimidation get into my head.”

On April 6, the robotics team had practice competitions to help prepare them for the weekend. “The first day helps give a sense of what the competition is like,” Braga said.  

April 7, the first official day of competition, was filled with stress and anxiety. 696 started their day off with a win, with a total score of 484–140. “This was a great start to the day and helped set the tone, giving  all of us some confidence,” said junior Tony Choi. The team competed in eight more matches, winning seven more of them.

Sadly, the team’s day did not end as well as it started, with the team losing by just 47 points. “We all felt a little defeated especially because we won the majority of them,” Choi said. Afterwards, the team ate at Mexican restaurant and headed back to their hotel to get rest for the next day.

The last day of competition consisted of three qualification matches and 3 matches in the quarterfinals. The team won first two qual matches but lost their last one. The team’s alliance with 5458 and 972 in the quarterfinals was not enough to get them into the finals.

Nonetheless, the team still had positive attitudes and high spirits. The team took the loss as a learning experience. “Although the outcome was not what we all wanted, I learned a lot of leadership and teamwork skills. Our team really got to bond in a that would not have happened if it weren’t for the competition,” Braga said.